Monday, February 22, 2010

NOPA's "Negative Spaces" Showcased in Light Installation: Artist to Reveal Hidden Features of Local Victorians

Photos by Tanu Sankalia of light installation test run last May

Golden Gate Avenue by a different light

Slots that define our neighborhood as much as the famous facades

"You Will Never See NOPA In The Same Way," according to a University of San Francisco press release announcing a unique art installation scheduled for later this week. Elaine Buckholtz, a Bay Area artist, will bring her vision and facility for revealing what is hidden in plain sight to Golden Gate Avenue in NOPA on Thursday and Friday evenings, February 25 and 26. Once the sky darkens the street, Buckholtz will shift viewers' gaze from the familiar facades to the seldom noticed spaces, "the slots," between the elegant structures. The buildings are located on the north side of the street between Lyon and Baker at 1906 to 1914 Golden Gate.

From 5:30 to 8 pm on both evenings, the "light-sculpted interstitial space" between the Victorians will be revealed. The staging will "foreground" the "geometry of negative space, revealing forms that are unnoticed by day." Buckholtz describes these largely unappreciated areas hedged between Victorians as "the smallest discernable spatial units of the city" that are repeated along rows of the Victorians on North Panhandle streets. She asserts that "the repetition of these spaces ... produces a pattern that is equally as intrinsic and unique to this neighborhood's urban form as the Victorians themselves."

As a light designer and installation artist, Buckholtz has distinguished herself with work throughout Europe and the Bay Area. She currently teaches at Stanford University. The University of San Francisco is sponsoring the light installation in coordination with the institution's Thacher Gallery. The on-the-street exhibit complements the on-campus show, "The Urban Unseen: Examining San Francisco's Interstitial Spaces," free and open to the public from February 21 to April 25 in the Gleeson Library/Geschke Center, 2130 Fulton Street at Parker Street. Tanu Sankalia conceptualized and curated the exhibition. An artist panel and reception are scheduled for Thursday, February 25 at the university. "All Over Coffee" artist Paul Madonna will also present his architecturally detailed work. Information here and at (415) 422-5178, A special thanks to NOPA neighbor Purvi Sahu for alerting BIKE NOPA to this special neighborhood event.

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